United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON ATTACHMENT AND APPOINTMENT OF PROCESS
FEDERICO A. MORENO JUDGE
Fednav International Ltd. filed an unsealed verified
complaint in this action on July 5, 2019, seeking, among
other things, "security for subsequent enforcement of
any arbitral awards and judgments" against Defendant
Allpine Worldwide Ltd. for various maritime claims. (Compl.
¶ 36, ECF No. 1, 7.) The Court has subject-matter
jurisdiction over this matter based upon the admiralty and
maritime jurisdiction of the United States. 28 U.S.C. §
1333; California v. Deep Sea Research, Inc., 523
U.S. 491, 501 (1998) (the judicial power of federal courts
extends to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction).
Pending before the Court now are Fednav's (1) motion for
an order issuing maritime attachment and garnishment
(Pl.'s Mot. for Attachment, ECF No. 4) and (2) motion for
the appointment of a special process server (Pl.'s Mot.
for Appt., ECF No. 5.) For the reasons that follow, the Court
grants both motions. (ECF
Nos. 4 & 5.)
dispute between the parties here stems from Fednav's
charter of Allpine's ocean-going cargo vessel M/V Gea.
According to Fednav, Allpine breached its obligations under
the parties' charter agreement, resulting in costly
delays to the delivery of Fednav's cargo. (Compl. at
¶¶ 11-21, 29.) After demand, Allpine has failed to
pay amounts Fednav says it is owed as a result of
Allpine's breach. (Mot. for Attachment at 2.) The charter
agreement provides that all disputes between the parties are
to be arbitrated in London, England. Fednav has initiated the
arbitration proceedings and now, in the meantime, seeks
security for its claim against Allpine in the amount of $1,
173, 000. (Id.)
in maritime actions is governed by Rules B and E of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Supplemental Rules for
Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions.
"To secure a writ of attachment [under Rule B], a
plaintiff must establish the following four prerequisites:
'(1) it has a valid prima facie admiralty claim against
the defendant; (2) the defendant cannot be found within the
district; (3) the defendant's property may be found
within the district; and (4) there is no statutory or
maritime law bar to the attachment.'" Denali
Shipping LP v. Van Oil Petroleum Ltd., 18-22364-CIV,
2018 WL 7820217, at *2 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 31, 2018) (Moreno, J.)
(quoting Aqua Stoli Shipping Ltd. v. Gardner Smith Pty
Ltd., 460 F.3d 434, 445 (2d Cir. 2006), abrogated on
other grounds by Shipping Corp. of India Ltd. v. Jaldhi
Overseas Pte Ltd., 585 F.3d 58 (2d Cir. 2009). Once
presented, "[t]he court must review the complaint and
affidavit and, if the conditions of . . . Rule B appear to
exist, enter an order so stating and authorizing process of
attachment and garnishment." Fed.R.Civ.P. Supp. R.
B(1)(b). Thereafter, a defendant may challenge the attachment
under Rule E and seek its vacatur. Fed.R.Civ.P. Supp. R. E.
Fednav has sufficiently pleaded (1) an admiralty claim
against Allpine (e.g., Compl. at ¶ 3); (2) that
Allpine cannot be "found" within the district,
within the meaning of the rule (id. at ¶ 32;
Blanck Aff., ECF No. 4-1); and (3) that Allpine has, or
shortly will have, property subject to attachment or
garnishiment in this district (Compl. at ¶ 32-33). And
it further appears there is no statutory or general maritime
bar preventing attachment. E.g., W. of England Ship
Owners Mut. Ins. Ass'n (Luxembourg) v. McAllister Bros.,
Inc., 829 F.Supp. 125, 127 (E.D. Pa. 1993) ("[S]o
long as a plaintiff has satisfied the requirements under Rule
B, a pending arbitration does not preclude attachment . . .
available in admiralty or maritime cases.").
the Court finds Fednav has met its initial burden in seeking
attachment under Rule B, the Court orders as
(1) Process of maritime attachment shall issue against all
property belonging to or being held for Defendant Allpine
Worldwide Ltd. by Banco Sabadell, at 1111 Brickell Avenue,
Suite #3010, Miami, Florida, up to and including the amount
of $1, 173, 000.00.
(2) Any person claiming an interest in any properly attached
or garnished pursuant to this order is, upon application to
the Court, entitled to a hearing at which Fednav will be
required to show cause why the attachment or garnishment
should not be vacated.
(3) Supplemental process enforcing the Court's order may
be issued by the Clerk upon application without further order
of the Court.
(4) The Court specially appoints Caplan 8b Caplan to serve
the complaint and process of maritime attachment and
garnishment upon any garnishee in this action.
STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA MIAMI
DIVISION “IN ADMIRALTY”
SUMMONS AND PROCESS OF MARITIME ATTACHMENT AND
UNITED STATES MARSHAL FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA OR
A COURT ORDERED SPECIAL PROCESS ...